COVID-19 vaccine demand slowing in Mississippi

Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The vaccine rollout is slowing in Mississippi.

It’s not because of a lack of supply but demand. So far, 23 percent of Mississippians are fully vaccinated.

Mississippi’s vaccination report shows that demand has stayed on a downward trend for all of April, with a more than 19 percent drop in doses given each of the last two weeks.

Dr. Laura Jackson Miller is a family physician in Prentiss.

“What I have seen is we’re starting to have to kind of convince people or talk to people about why they would benefit from it a little bit more than the information they get from other sources,” described Dr. Laura Jackson Miller, Prentiss Family Practice Clinic-Hattiesburg Clinic.

She says their trends have mostly mirrored what we’re seeing statewide.

“We had the first big wave of everybody that wanted to get vaccinated and then we had kind of the stragglers,” said Jackson Miller. “Now we have some people who want to be vaccinated by us directly.”

Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center initially ran out of their allotments quickly. Now...

“We’re finding that we haven’t used all what we’ve been given for the first time since we started giving the vaccinations,” noted JHCHC CEO Dr. Jasmin Chapman. “A risk that some might have to go unused.”

For them, that shift coincided with the pause in Johnson and Johnson.

“I think it definitely impacted not only Johnson and Johnson but vaccines period,” explained Chapman. “Some people were looking for a reason to not get it and even though the pause was short and it was rare, very few people were having any problems, I think for a lot of people they took that to confirm that they had made the right decision.”

For the first time, they had dozens of folks not return for shot number two in recent weeks. They’re working to find out why.

But that’s a growing trend nationwide.

According to the latest information from the CDC, about 8 percent of Americans have missed their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine. That’s up from about 3-point-4 percent back in March.

However, the CDC says the numbers don’t take into account people who get their first dose at one clinic and their second shot at a different clinic.

Although the updated state-by-state breakdown isn’t posted, the CDC report that included mid-December to mid-February show Mississippi only had 1.3 percent of people miss the second dose. That’s compared to the national average at the time of 3.4 percent.

Aside from hesitancy, state leaders continue to work on access. Dr. Thomas Dobbs promoting multiple pop-up vaccine locations happening this week that don’t require appointments.

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